Obstacle course: Queanbeyan race meeting abandoned

QRACING administrator Brendan Comyn says he is “supremely confident” the irrigation problem that forced the abandonment of three races last Sunday will be fixed in time for the club’s next race day.

The final three races of Sunday’s seven-race program at Queanbeyan were abandoned after a leak in the club’s yet-to-be-completed irrigation system left part of the track flooded and unsafe for racing.

The cancellations left the club about $20,000 out of pocket due to decreased betting turnover. Queanbeyan is next due to host a race meeting on December 23.

The new irrigation system was due to have been fully operational before Sunday’s meet but completion of the project has been delayed.

“The new system hasn’t been fully commissioned yet but I’m supremely confident that by the end of the week, we’ll no longer have any problems with it,” Comyn said.

“It’s a new system and we’re just getting used to how to operate it…but it was an expensive way to learn. We’ve learnt a very serious lesson from it and it’s a situation that has to be better regulated in the future.”

While uncertain of exactly when the leak occurred, Comyn said it was most likely on Friday afternoon but went unnoticed until midway through the meet due to the small fields in the early races.

“If we had known about it earlier in the day, we could have rolled [the track] and probably not lost the last three races but the issue was we found out so late,” Comyn said.

But Comyn said the new system could be fully operational as early as today with the project’s major infrastructure including pumps and hydrants already in place.

Even with a shortened race meeting, it was still a strong afternoon for local trainers who took out three of the day’s four races.

The Joe Cleary trained Liberal’s Knight continued its impressive form since arriving in Queanbeyan registering a second-straight win in the Benchmark 54 Handicap (1100m).

Tony Sergi’s Diamond to Pegasus proved too strong in the Open Handicap over 900m while Garry Clarke’s Saharamar took out the Maiden Handicap. 

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